Addiction occurs when people continue to compulsively use a drug despite harmful consequences. A strong social support system is important during recovery. Letting your friends, family, and those closest to you know about your treatment plan can help you keep on track and avoid triggers. The best plans are comprehensive, as addiction often affects many areas of life. Treatments will focus on helping you or the person you know stop seeking and engaging in their addiction. Charity Action on Addiction, 1 in 3 people in the world have an addiction of some kind.

  • It may be necessary to seek legal assistance to save your loved one’s life.
  • Working the same 12 steps as a loved one in early recovery is also good because it gives you “something to talk about,” Jacob added.
  • Although more common in romantic relationships, love addiction can occur within families, in friendships, and even with strangers.
  • Withdrawal from such drugs as heroin, painkillers, alcohol, and benzodiazepine tranquilizers can be life-threatening, and medical supervision is generally advised.
  • Setting boundaries protects your personal health and well-being, is more likely to help your addicted loved one, and can help ensure that you’ll be satisfied with the relationship as well.

Support can go a long way in making the recovery process more successful. Many organizations can help, depending on the type of addiction. But just because addiction runs in the family does not necessarily mean a person will develop one. Someone with an addition won’t stop their behavior, even if they recognize the problems the addiction is causing. In some cases, they’ll also display a lack of control, like using more than intended.

Symptoms of Love Addiction

Those who become addicted are usually acutely aware of their own behavioral shifts and especially how they are disappointing others, even as they rationalize away their behavioral anomalies. Recovery often requires addressing the guilt and shame people feel over their own addictive behavior. Left unaddressed, such painful negative self-related feelings can seek quick relief in drug use before impulse control is regained.

Substance abuse changes the structure and chemical balance in the brain. This makes your brain think it needs drugs and alcohol to function. It will do whatever it takes to get them because its job is to help you survive. If your loved one has become addicted to alcohol, however, their brain chemistry may have changed to the point that they are completely surprised by some of the choices they make.

Truths If Someone You Love Is Addicted

Even when an individual detoxifies from a substance, the reward system in the brain can remain changed for a long period of time. It is important to set ground rules for your relationship, especially when you believe your partner may be developing or actively suffering from a substance use disorder. Boundaries are clearly outlined expectations or rules set forth so that both partners know what behaviors are acceptable. This may seem easier said than done, especially when it feels like you’ve tried everything in your power to treat the disease in your loved one. But addiction can be one of the most severe conditions to contend with.

If someone you care about is using drugs or alcohol in a way that’s threatening their health, relationships, finances, career, and perhaps even their life, you no doubt feel overwhelmed and desperate to help them come to their senses. Addictive substances and behaviors can create a pleasurable “high” that’s physical and psychological. You’ll typically use more of certain substances or engage in behaviors longer to achieve the same high again. Over time, the addiction becomes difficult to stop.

Don’t Accept Unacceptable Behavior

I have a beautiful daughter with addiction to Meth, alcohol for many years. At first it was just alcohol and I knew it was taking over her when I finally had to take custody of her daughter (at the time she was 13 years old). I too have been enabling to the point of almost financially broke. I paid for rehab out of state, she left earlier than I thought she needed and came to live with me (this was before I had to take custody of my grandaughter). The problem with loving an addict is that sometimes the things that will help them are the things that would seem hurtful, cold and cruel if they were done in response to non-addicts.

  • Someone tried to explain to me, a non addict, what addiction is really like inside their mind.
  • Without judgment on their behaviors and circumstances.
  • The most commonly identifiable symptom of love addiction is an unhealthy fixation on another person that causes obsessive compulsions, such as calling them too frequently, attempting to control them, or even stalking them.

I literally feel sick to my stomach everyday with worry that ive lost a lot of weight and my mental health is suffering. I feel so alone and it was nice to read all these comments. I hope that somehow we can find peace and contentment through all this.

Any action I take from a place of fear or confusion, or in response to one of his betrayals or lies, gets flipped around on me so I end up the perpetrator. He almost broke up with me because I filed a missing person report on him because I thought he was dead after he disappeared for four days and none of his friends knew where he went. Something I’ve heard from a couple people who are recovered addicts is that if an addict “really loves you,” they will go to treatment if you just stay consistent with them and don’t give up.

loving an addict

Researchers drew parallels between the way a person in love and a person addicted to a substance might act. People in both groups might experience emotional dependency, cravings, mood swings, compulsions, obsessions, and loss of self-control. When you are in love, your brain releases chemical messengers that make you feel good, like dopamine. These same patterns occur with substance abuse and addiction. For many others, quitting can lead to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, even with behaviors, and can open up uncomfortable feelings that were being soothed or suppressed by the addictive behavior. Many drug users have made many promises to themselves to stop—and broken them as well, leading them to believe they are incapable of stopping.